One billion people will own smartphones in four years, says Forrester, a research company. A large portion of that growth over the next couple years will come when owners of feature phones finally switch over to smartphones. Companies like MediaTek will accelerate this transition by delivering high performance chips to entry-level Android devices.
This week MediaTek announced their MT6575 platform that includes a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, PowerVR SGX Series 5 GPU, and proven 3G/HSPA modem. MediaTek’s new platform will support Android 4.0, qHD (960×540) highâ€resolution displays, dual-SIM capability, and 720p highâ€definition video playback and recording with an 8MP camera.
“We expect significant growth in entry and midâ€level smartphones, with wholesale prices under US$190, over the coming years. We forecast that this segment will almost triple in size from 191 million shipments in 2012 to 551 million by 2016. At that time, we also expect approximately 75% of those entry and midâ€level smartphones to ship to emerging markets” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director, Global Wireless Practice, at Strategy Analytics.
MediaTek claims their new platform provides a 35% improvement for browser applications and over 20% improvement in graphics capabilities for gaming when compared to “competitors’ best offerings in these segments”.
One of the first entry-level devices to use the MediaTek MT6575 platform could be Lenovo’s A750. MediaTek says these devices should appear in the first quarter of this year. There have been conflicting reports over this phone, but Chinese site Android-sale says Lenovo is the first. They recently got their hands on the A750 and uploaded several hands-on videos to YouTube.
Another Chinese blogger compared the MediaTek MT6575 against Qualcomm’s Snapdragon MSM8266 and found that MediaTek came out ahead in the Neocore benchmark. The older Adreno 2xx GPU’s found in previous generation Snapdragons have been weak, so it’s no surprise that a PowerVR SGX Series 5 GPU was faster.
Almost every pre-paid carrier in the US now offers Android phones, but the majority of these models run old versions of Android and offer less-than-desirable specs. If MediaTek and their OEM partners can deliver phones based on Android 4.0 and priced under $199, that deliver high-performance graphics, large qHD displays, and record 720p HD video, then I think the adoption will really take off.
What specs would you like to see on Android phones priced under $199?
[Post image via it168.com]